PORTLAND (AP) — The Securities and Exchange Commission filed fraud charges Thursday against a Portland man accused of running a Ponzi scheme that raised more than $37 million.
The SEC alleges that Yusaf Jawed, 44, of Grifphon Asset Management, falsely boasted of double-digit returns to lure more than 100 people to invest their money in hedge funds he managed. He then used money to pay off earlier investors and pay for his personal expenses and travel.
The complaint filed in federal court in Portland claims little of the money was invested. Jawed, who previously worked a stockbroker, allegedly created phony assets and sent bogus account statements to investors.
“Jawed presented himself as a sophisticated and successful hedge fund manager when all the while he was brazenly stealing his investors’ money,” said Marc J. Fagel of the SEC’s San Francisco regional office.
Separately, the SEC accused Jawed’s former business partner, Lyman J. Bruhn, of Vancouver, Wash., of running a Ponzi scheme with his firms, Sasquatch Asset Management and Pearl Asset Management.
After hedge fund losses, Bruhn “began using new investor funds to pay off old investors,” the SEC said.